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20120901
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that the killing of four americans in benghazi was an act of terror, and how troubled the subsequent investigation into that deadly assault is turning out to be. today, 16 days after the attack, defense secretary leon panetta stated plainly what was obvious to many, including senator john mccain, who joins us shortly, almost from the beginning. >> as we determined the details of what took place there and how that attack took place, that it became clear that there were terrorists who had planned that attack. >> the best we can tell, this is the first time any administration official has uttered the word "planned" to describe what happened. asked how long it took to reach his conclusion, secretary panetta said quote, it took awhile once information from benghazi came back. but keeping them honest, multiple sources now tell "360" that officials knew this was a terror attack almost from the get-go within 24 hours. at least intelligence officials. yet this is what they were saying for more than a week publicly after the killing. >> it's important to know that there's an fbi investigation that has begun
.s. marines are speeding to benghazi where they will help secure the u.s. consulate where the attack occurred. jill dougherty joins us now. >> reporter: officials here at the state department are beginning to piece together the details, but this is what we know. we have been speaking to them all morning long. what they say is essentially you had three things going on. you had the basic demonstration by regular libyans, but then you had a very targeted attack on the attack in benghazi by these heavy heavily-armed militants. we understand there were a couple dozen of them. they were using rpgs. very serious attack. as they attack the consulate, it starts a fire. and that is where the story with the ambassador comes in. the ambassador, mr. stevens, had been in benghazi temporarily. he's normally in the capital tripoli. also shawn smith, 10-year veteran, was also there on a temporary assignment. they were inside that consulate. fire breaks out. there are now three people along with one security person into a safe room. that safe room becomes filled with smoke and so at least ambassador stevens, p
conclusion, secretary panetta said quote, it took awhile once information from benghazi came back. but keeping them honest, multiple sources now tell "360" that officials knew this was a terror attack almost from the get-go within 24 hours. at least intelligence officials. yet this is what they were saying for more than a week publicly after the killing. >> it's important to know that there's an fbi investigation that has begun, and will take some time to be completed. that will tell us with certainty what transpired, but our current best assessment, based on the information that we have at present, is that in fact, what this began as was a spontaneous, not a premeditated, response to what had transpired in cairo. >> now, there are many possible explanations for why the administration took so long to budge from that line. everything from an excess of caution to the fog of war to incompetence or domestic politics. we don't have the answer nailed down on that. what we do have, though, is a collection of inconsistencies between the administration line and our own understanding of the
more we're learning about the attack tonight as well as other late developments out of benghazi. a large pro-democracy march on the headquarters of an extremist islamic group in benghazi. first, the breaking news about how the two former s.e.a.l.s perished and how far they went to save other american lives. joining us now to flesh out her exclusive reporting, cnn contributor and former homeland security advisor, fran townsend. fran currently serves on the cia external advisory committee and recently visited libya with her employer, mcandrews forbes. also with us, arwa damon, who has been breaking news all week for us from benghazi. so fran, what have we learned about these two navy s.e.a.l.s? initially a former s.e.a.l.s, it was thought they were there to protect the ambassador. that's not the case. >> that's not the case, anderson. they are part of this protective security contractor force. these two contractors -- the contractors generally are recruited from elite special forces because of their training and experience. in the case of doherty, he had served in iraq and afghani
.s. personnel have been evacuated from benghazi, libya. and very small skeletal staffs in tripoli and also yemen. but the u.s. is also looking at other countries. we have ten countries that you just mentioned where there are u.s. protests. clearly they're looking at sudan right now. right now they're not evacuating people. again, they're saying stay tuned. make sure you're registered with the embassy. right now everyone's relying on commercial travel to get out. the roads are open. everything's open, wolf. right now it's just seems to be localized just at these u.s. embassies and not kind of chaos spreading throughout the country. >> these are live pictures we're showing our viewers now from tahrir square in cairo. not very far from the u.s. embassy. you've been there, i've been there. it's only a few -- maybe a block away. but they have apparently established all sorts of barriers around the u.s. embassy. it's a huge embassy too. >> it's a huge embassy. it's like a complex, if you will. even as you have the setback in these reinforcements, they're asking the local government in the last couple
-cocked. part of why governor romney looked bad responding to the tragedy in benghazi, he seemed like he was too political and too opportunistic. it could be here that the president was a little too cool. i don't think in his defense for a minute he would say that the murder of an ambassador and other american personnel, much less all the other folks who have died in that region, is just a bump in the road. i think what he's trying to do is show everybody that we're on this, the united states is doing well and you know, i think that's a kind of typical no drama obama response. >> alex, is that what it is, the cool head of the president? >> i think there's something to that, but i think there's also a little more, and that is that this president's great strength is his intellect. he lives inside his head and his ideas. and part of it is he doesn't really feel your pain like paul's former boss, bill clinton, but he can memorize a study about it, you know. people are distant from this president. there's a certain sense of arrogance to this white house that they're just detached from it and i think
, on the killing of ambassador christopher stevens and three others in benghazi, libya on 9/11, on what the state department and others may have known about the security situation the days and weeks leading up to their killing, on what leading members of the government have said about their circumstances of the tragedy and whether their statements have lacked clarity or transparency, and of course, on who killed these four dedicated americans. that's where we've always believed the focus should be. however, because cnn discovered ambassador stevens' seven-page journal in what remains of the consulate in benghazi three days after the attack and because it became one source for some of our reporting, questions about the use and handling of that journal have been raised, as you probably heard. as you probably heard this weekend, the u.s. state department spokesman blasted cnn, calling the network's behavior quote, disgusting and our handling of the journal quote, indefensible. now, no one likes to be called disgusting, particularly by a spokesperson for the united states state department. but we do
department hired to guard the benghazi consulate. they asked matthew olsen the question in a hearing this week. blue mountain is a private security group out of wales to hire and vet the guards. they had a contract worth half million. indication of guards casing the consulate was revealed on a gaming website where he went by the name vile rat. assuming we don't die tonight, we saw one of our quote police that guard the compound taking picture. it could be the libyan government police. and the anti-islamic. there is increasing evidence that this group is with al-qaida. the fbi is looking to the american personnel moved one while away were ambushed and that may mean they were kill would by attackers. now to the reporters told that the jewish state would be. he flew to thinationination assembly meeting. rick leavenat this time -- at the jerusalem bureau. >> all of this war talk is fueling tension here. rame rails -- few israelies want more. but the iranian military said it is prepared for israel to strike and has plenty of new weapons and hard ware. it is missiles and a mobile air defen
ambassador stevens' seven-page journal in what remains of the consulate in benghazi three days after the attacknd b it became one source for some of our reporting, questions about the use and handling oft journal haveeen raised,s you probably heard. as you probably heard this weekend, the u.s. state spkesman blasted cnn, calli the network's behavior quote, disgusting and our handling of thernal quote, indensible. w, no onlikes be called disgusting, particularly by a spespers f united states state deptment. but do invite you and tem t ho us to the sametandards that whold others and try every night to meet ourselves. out of respect for his family, we have not quoted from his journal, not once. ambassador stevens' journal. it was not e-mailed around the newsroom as the u.s. state department spokesman said it was. remember, cnn discovered the journal three days after the assault. arwa damon, one of the best war correspondents i ever worked with who reported for years at great personal risk to herself, discovered the journal. why was the journal significant? well, at the time that cnn d
in the attack in benghazi, libya. this came on the heels from a report on "the daily beast" chbs the u.s. government new about the involvement within 24 hours of the attack. it was 15 days ago and what we've heard for the past 15 days is that the attacks were an attack on america. that was the president. not preplanned, spontaneous, that was susan rice and carried out by a small and savage group. that was secretary of state hillary clinton. well, the president of libya today also came out today and was clear about al-qaeda. >> hiding in libya. >> it was actually in a high level united nations meeting that hillary clinton for the first time today admitted that an al-qaeda linked group was involved. >> for some time, al-qaeda in the islamic mog rab and other groups have launched attacks and kidnappings from northern mali into neighboring countries and are working with other violent extremists to undermine the transitions as we tragically saw in benghazi. >> now, "the new york times" reported that other senior u.s. officials were surprised by secretary clinton's admission. her linking of
.s. consulate in benghazi. let's go live to our pentagon correspondent chris lawrence getting new details on what's going on. chris, what are you learning? >> yeah, wolf, just in the past few hours libya's own prime minister told cnn's own christiane amonopore have arrested one man. he is currently being interrogated. and libyan authorities say they have several others under surveillance and more arrests may be on the way. meantime, u.s. intelligence officials say they are digging deeper and getting more information about who may have been behind this attack. at this point they say it does not appear to be a core al qaeda group, wolf. >> what does that mean? a core al chi da affiliate groups. what does that mean, a core al qaeda group? >> they think it's very possible that this could have been an al qaeda-inspired group. some group that is not directly affiliated with the hierarchy of al qaeda but does support the aims and ideals of al qaeda. >> and what about the u.s. warships, chris, that are heading toward libya right now? where are they? and are those extra u.s. marines already on the
consulate in benghazi was a deliberate and organized terrorist assault carried out by extremists affiliated or sympathetic with al qaeda, a flat statement just issued. let's discuss the political fallout in our strategy session. joining us now, the democratic strategist and cnn political contributor donna brazile, along with david frum, contributing editor at "the daily beast" and "newsweek." david, a powerful statement just released by the director of national intelligence. it totally contradicts what the administration was saying in the days that immediately followed the killing of ambassador stevens and the three other americans. what do you make of this? >> totally supports what my colleague reported three days ago who was the first with this story. what it makes is the american ambassador dead, the administration's first impulse was to find ways to cover itself and avoid acknowledging the mistake the ambassador had completely inadequate security in a dangerous place. and it did that by pitting on this youtube video of the maker on his way to prison and charged under other offenses. in
an employee at the american consulate in benghazi was killed today. good evening. i'm wolf blitzer in for piers morgan. attacks on diplomatic compounds in both egypt and libya. joining me is the chairman of the house intelligence committee, congressman mike rogers. thank you very much for coming in. i want to get to 9/11, but there's some breaking news that we're following and i want to get your sense. an american diplomat has apparently been killed. people stormed the u.s. consulate in benghazi, libya. can you update us? >> it's my understanding there were nearly two dozen armed individuals that coordinated explosions and other things. this is the same site that was attacked with an ied about a month or so ago. very, very concerning, and it's concerning that this is a repeat target for them and that this may have been more successful because of the large scale of it. so it's, again, very, very concerning. we have seen al qaeda elements in libya spring up, as we have seen in tunisia, as well. all of that is concerning. we still don't know for certain yet, as i speak to you today or
the streets of benghazi myself, and despite what we saw in that horrific incident where some mob was hijacked ultimately by a handful of extremists, the united states is extremely popular in libya and the outpouring of sympathy and support for ambassador stevens and his colleagues from the government and from people as evidence of that, the fact is, candy, that this is a turbulent time. it's a time of dramatic change. it's a change that the united states has backed because we understand that when democracy takes root, when human rights and people's freedom of expression can be manifested, it may lead to turbulence in the short-term, but over the long-term, that is in the interest of the united states. the mobs we've seen on the outside of these embassies are small minority. they're the ones who have largely lost in these emerging democratic processes, and just as the people of these countries are not going to allow their lives to be hijacked by a dictator, they're not going to allow an extremist mob to hijack their future and their freedom, and we're going to continue to stand with the vast m
steefb stevens and three other than americans were killed at the u.s. consulate in benghazi. u.s. officials have not arrested anyone directly linked to the attack. they have focused on members of the militia sympathetic to al qaeda. but the arrests they have made are of people outside that night but not having to do with the attack. arwa damon has been fighting for answers. it's been hard. she is in benghazi, and a few moments ago, i asked her how the investigation is going. >> reporter: it's been incredibly frustrating to try to get a straight answer from the government, because even within the government itself, we're still continuing to hear these conflicting accounts. how many people have actually been arrested? how many of them were associated with the attack? what sort of leads has the government come across? at this point in time, you still have the head of libya's general national congress effectively the country's president, saying that amongst those detained, there were some foreigners that are believed to have links to al qaeda. that this was a preplanned attack carr
, militants attacked the u.s. consul in benghazi and killed the ambassador and three american men close to him. >>> want to talk to general wesley clarke, general, thank you for joining us. can u.s. forces help keep these consulates and embassies safer? >> certainly they can. first of all, forces around the consulates can provide direct defense. they can also provide deterrents and simply the word that we're putting additional forces in there has to be heard by people. the forces offshore can provide reinforcements, provide additional intelligence and a lot going on behind the scenes, you can be sure of that. our intelligence agencies, our pounding the beat, looking for the source of the attacks, during the after action review as to what happened and why. looking to find ways to prevent and get early warning of future attacks there, is a lot going on that we're not seeing. >> general, some of these countries like yemen and sudan say they don't want u.s. troops sent there. hodo military leaders handle that? can the pentagon send troops to nonhostile places where they aren't wanted? >> well, i t
, there was an attack as you know on the american embassy in benghazi in libya. the ambassador christopher stevens was murdered. do you condemn the attack which caused his murder? >> translator: fundamentally, first of all, any action that is provocative offends the religious thoughts and feelings of any people, we condemn. likewise, we condemn any type of extremism. of course, what took place was ugly, offending the holy prophet is quite ugly. this has very little or nothing to do with freedom and freedom of speech. this is the weakness of -- and the abuse of freedom and in many places, it is a crime. it shouldn't take place and i do hope the day will come in which politicians will not seek to offend those whom others hold holy, but we also believe that this must also be resolved in a humane atmosphere, in a participatory environment, and we do not like anyone losing their lives or being killed for any reason anywhere in the world. >> there were protesters all over the middle east now threatening the staff of american embassies, threatening to kill them, to behead them. do you think they should s
in benghazi, libya. our sources reveal that not single fbi investigators has set foot at the crime scene 15 days after the terrorist attack. and that the crime scene has still not been secured. those are just two headlines, two new pieces of information
, in benghazi, about a rising militancy extremism in the area. what the state department says is there was a small attack on the u.s. consulate in june, an ied attack and several other attacks on foreign targets and the state department says that they beefed up security at this diplomatic facility, significantly, in the months leading up to the attack -- the september 11 attack. but what they said is what they were preparing for, what they were trying to guard off against they couldn't foresee the kind of massive fire assault that they saw that day. they were beefing up security in accordance with some of the other attacks that pattern of threats out there and they say that nobody could have predicted the amount of fire fight they had that day. obviously we see now those security measures were not enough to save ambassador stevens and those other three americans. >> what about today and looking ahead, in terms of this region. how is the state department, how will they beef up security there? >> well, it is a really good question. brooke, after those massive attacks on the u.s.
administration handled this? we have learned at cnn that the u.s. consulate in benghazi did not meet standard u.s. consulate security requirements. this is obviously a rather damning thing to be discovering at this point, considering what ended up happening there. jon huntsman told me he thinks consulates there who are not beefed up on security, shouldn't the administration be responding to that? >> i think the administration is responding to it. the state department goes to regular security procedures all over the world and updates them to take into account how the situation on the ground changes. i spent a lot of time in iraq and as we were transitioning from our military presence there to the state department presence there, we looked very closely at the security procedures at our con sue lates and embassies. so i expect in the aftermath of these incidents, there will be another review and steps will be taken to improve security where needed. >> let's talk about libya and the mixed messages. it still seems confusing to me. on the 16th of september, our ambassador called the attacks spontaneo
of four americans in benghazi was an act of terror, and how troubled the subsequent investigation into that deadly assault is turning out to be. today, 16 days after the attack, defense secretary leon panetta
in the ruins of the american consulate of benghazi, libya. tonight, we're the first it tell you why. the likely reason and from a top law enforcement official. four americans as you know were murdered in the assault, one american ambassador, christopher stevens, that was 2 1/2 weeks ago, 2 1/2 weeks, that saw the administration describe this first as a spontan
official has been killed in an attack on the u.s. consulate in benghazi, libya. we're just getting this information coming in. we know there was also an attack on the u.s. embassy today. this, the 11th anniversary of 9/11 on the u.s. embassy and cairo, as well. erin burnett "outfront" will have moch much more at the top of the hour. >>> few politicians are more closely associated with 9/11 than rudy guiliani. after the attacks, the former new york city mayor became known as america's mayor as he helped lead the nation forward. you've described 9/11 as both the worst day and the best day. explain why you said that. >> the worst day, because it was the worst attack, domestic attack in the history of my c country, or you have to go back to the revolution and the war of 1812 and civil war to look for similar kinds of things. certainly, new york city. and at the same time, it was a day of more heroism, more patriotic fervor, more assistance, more charitable action and activity than i ever saw, ever, in my life. i never saw this kind of desire to want the
Search Results 0 to 49 of about 50 (some duplicates have been removed)